The Southern Center for Human Rights

HEADLINES

  • GULFPORT - Mayor Brent Warr has promised to correct problems that have earned Gulfport Municipal Court the reputation of being "the worst in the state."

    In comments at an NAACP meeting Tuesday night, Warr responded to allegations of illegal practices in city court by pledging fairness to all, to include indigent people who can't afford to pay misdemeanor fines within 30 days.

  • HARVEST, Ala. - If there was ever a prison that needed help, it was Limestone Correctional Facility.

    Even within the troubled Alabama penal system, this state compound near Huntsville was notorious for cruel punishment and medical neglect. In one drafty, rat-infested warehouse once reserved for chain gangs, the state quarantined its male prisoners with H.I.V. and AIDS, until the extraordinary death toll - 36 inmates from 1999 to 2002 - moved inmates to sue and the government to promise change.

  • GULFPORT - A federal lawsuit claims the City of Gulfport and its Municipal Court have created a modern-day debtors' prison.

    The lawsuit, filed Thursday, alleges the city and court officials have abused their authority by putting indigent people in jail for failure to pay misdemeanor fines. It also alleges a special unit of police officers "troll the streets," primarily in predominantly black neighborhoods, looking for people who have past-due court fines.

    The civil lawsuit represents only one side of a complaint.

  • Alabama's prison medical provider is losing $1.2 million from the state because it has not provided enough doctors and nurses to state prisons.

    Prison Health Services has not fulfilled minimal contract requirements that call for a certain number of doctors, nurses, administrators and support staff. The company is not being fined, Department of Corrections spokesman Brian Corbett said, but DOC will not have to pay $1.2 million of its contract.

  • State inmates seek change from cells in Louisiana lock-up

    Alabama female prisoners locked in a rural Louisiana prison are demanding changes they say could give them a fairer shot at parole and curb the state's reliance on private, for-profit lockups.

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